G4S Secure Solutions (USA) Inc Reaches Agreement to Settle California Employee Meal and Rest Break Class Action
After an extremely long-running class action, G4S Secure Solutions (USA) Inc, (previously The Wackenhut Corporation), reached agreement for full and final settlement of a class action relating to claims for meal and rest breaks under California law. The settlement covers approximately 13,500 employees over the period 2001 to 2010. The amount to be settled is up to US$130 million with the precise amount to be determined during the settlement administration process. The settlement agreement is subject to the final approval of the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles.
This settlement follows G4S' settlement in 2015 and 2017 of two class actions in California, similar in nature and aggregate size, covering the periods 2003 to 2016 and 2013 to 2018, which were settled in aggregate for US$7.6 million. According to the company, it was not possible for G4S to settle this final class action on similar terms and in view of developing trends in case law in California, the company reached agreement with the claimants through mediation.
California Meal And Rest Break Laws
The attorneys at Kingsley & Kingsley have significant experience in labor law and other civil litigation, including class actions based on employer violations of California's employment laws. A brief rundown of California's meal and rest break laws is found below.
California Meal Break Law Requirements
- If an employee works over 5 hours in a day, they are entitled to a meal break of at least 30 minutes that must start before the end of the fifth hour of the shift. This meal period can be waived with agreement by by the employee and supervisor, provided the employee does not work more than 6 hours in the workday.
- If an employee works over 10 hours in a day, they are entitled to a second meal break of at least 30 minutes that must start before the end of the tenth hour of the shift. The second meal break can be waived if the employee does not work more than 12 hours and the first meal break was not waived.
- The employee must be allowed to take their meal break off work premises and spend the break however the employee wishes since it is off the clock.
- The employee cannot be required to work during any required meal break.
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California Rest Break Requirements
- An employee is entitled to a rest break of at least 10 consecutive uninterrupted minutes.
- Rest breaks must be paid.
- If an employee works at least 3.5 hours in a day, they are entitled to one rest break. If an employee works over 6 hours, an employee is entitled to a second rest break. If an employee works over 10 hours, they are entitled to a third rest break.
- To the extent possible, rest breaks must take place in the middle of each work period. If an employee works approximately 8 hours, they should have a separate rest break both before and after their meal break.
- An employer may not require an employee to remain on work premises during rest breaks.
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California Employment Lawyers
If you have been denied proper meal and rest breaks or you need more information on California meal and rest break laws (or questions), contact Kingsley & Kingsley to speak with one of our experienced labor lawyers.